How to TT-proof your GSX-R1000 by Guy Martin team boss Philip Neill

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Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 will get you round the TT at 125mph+ no problem. But that fancy feather-light race bodywork you’ve been hankering after? It could cost infinitely more time than it saves, says Relentless Suzuki by Tas boss, Philip Neill, as he talks us through how they prepare Guy Martin’s Superstock gixxer for the TT.

“Frequently round here you see things crack you’ve never seen crack before, like fairing brackets, not the genuine Suzuki one, like on the stock bike, but the specially made items you’d use on a superbike. You’ll find they’ll do whole season of BSB and you’ll come here and they’re cracking in one six-lap race. You need to run fairly hefty bodywork, you don’t want to be going for feather-light bodywork especially around the mounting areas because it gets such a pounding in the wind and it can easily break.

“We’ve doubled up on the mounting points on the Leo Vince exhaust hanger, just in case, as that’s another area that can crack. We lockwire all the brake pins, the brake bolts, oil bungs, mudguard brackets and anything that contains fluid and bits and pieces we probably don’t even need to. We go overboard with it. Guy loves this: we actually knurl and circlip the end of the clip-ons just in case it came loose, it shouldn’t.

“Suspension isn’t a million miles away from a short circuit because they’re running round here so fast now. Years ago you would’ve run a lot more sag in the rear and run the bike a lot flatter, but it’s creeping back to where we are in a BSB meeting. Chassis balance-wise, maybe we’re running 1.5mm lower on the rear and that’s about it.

“We run a lot of steering damper. We use a speed sensitive one specifically for here – it’s light enough for when you’re not going anywhere, but when the bars give a bit of a wobble it stiffens up. It’s not electronic, they’re super on the road bike, but it’s another thing to break. It’s specially valved inside like the high speed compression damping in suspension.

“Guy likes his handlebars to sit a little bit higher around here and we run these silly-looking big screens, because the guys are on it for two hours and their heads are getting a serious pounding. We’ve had to raise the seat position, Guy felt he sat too much in the bike.

“We’ve done a lot of hard work in the winter and he’s ridden all the bikes, but not so much the stocker. We gave him a setting on the bike, we’ve not changed one click since and he’s done a 128mph lap on it, just 2mph slower than the superbike.”